Week 1- despot Week 2- perfidy Week 3- fiction Week 4- mordant Week 5- fallacy
Despot. Monday. 120114
It is most unfortunate for our country that we have a leader who is closer to being a despot than the leader of a democratic nation. The U.S. president is supposed to be the focal point of meeting the needs of the people. This is done in working with those who are elected to the house and senate. To do executive orders which deliberately bypass the house and senate is an act of a despot without regard for the will of the people. This present style of leadership will destroy our nation!
Despot. Tuesday. 120214
“The company is run by a benevolent despot.” In this example sentence we see an irony. The term “benevolent” and “despot” used together is abnormal. The first definition of despot is “a ruler who has total power and who often uses that power in cruel and unfair ways.” A shorter version of this meaning is “a ruler with absolute power and authority.” With this last meaning, we see that ‘tyrant’ and ‘despot’ are very similar terms for such a ruler with unlimited power. The oft heard phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely” assumes ominous tones for a despot!
Despot. Wednesday. 120314
“An Italian hereditary prince during the renaissance most usually had absolute power and authority.” Therefore, we see by this example that a sign of a despot was usually a ruler who had total power. In many cases it was at their discretion who lived and who died. It was most unusual to find a “benevolent despot” one who ruled with a high sense of moral value. The opposite was a ruler who enjoyed making everyone around him miserable. If you have a choice, run from a despot!
Despot. Thursday. 120414
The result of rule under a despot is seldom beneficial to mankind. Such was the case during the dark ages. Many rulers were more interested in power, wealth and influence than improving the condition of mankind. Compassion was seldom a trait of the despot. Most of their subjects that were assets to their kingdom to be used as the ruler thought best. They were tools to be used to the best advantage of the ruler even if it meant their death!
Despot. Friday. 120514
The mentality of a despot rarely accommodates a good relationship. The focus of a despot is power and authority not loving kindness. Most relationships have a mixture of good and bad interactions. The goal is to focus on the good side of the relationship and reduce the bad. The despot is so focused upon his power and authority that it becomes the sole motivation for all that he does. Only that which enhances his rule and complete authority is seen as positive action. The despot seldom loves others more than himself
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“I would not willingly believe that such perfidy is common among the Americans.” This quote from the writing of Marryat in the “Naval Officer” about the early years of American sailing ships gives us a sense of this week’s word. It is a negative meaning of loyalty. Many former national leaders with a shady past or treachery to achieve positions of power are prime examples of perfidy. This is not a word you want in your resume or reputation!
“The hardest perfidy to deal with is that of a supposed loyal friend.” The base meaning of perfidy is “the quality or state of being faithless or disloyal.” Treachery is one more way of understanding what ‘perfidy’ is. Perfidy is being disloyal to a friend, a standard of belief or concept that one has implied to support. “Backstabbing” is another word that shows treachery and disloyalty. Perfidy is normally a very negative response to positive action of an associate or close friend!
To see the signs and symptoms of ‘perfidy,’ we will look at similar words. Foul play, intrigue, betrayal and fraud are some descriptive words that point to perfidy or lack of loyalty in an association. For example, “even where one Roman ruler succeeded, the incapacity or the perfidy of his successor too often lost the fruits of success.” Perfidy creates an environment that is unstable and brings defeat. This could very well set the stage for our nation’s future!
The result of perfidy is normally unpleasant. However, in the case of Benito Mussolini (Italian Dictator in WWII) his perfidy ended violently. He was shot by anti-fascist partisans on April 28, 1945. His government was closely allied to Nazi Germany and it crumbled when the Allied forces invaded and captured much of Italy in early 1945. He had sold out the Italian homeland to the Germans to use for the North Africa campaign of Nazi Germany. His lies led to the execution of many Italians and he paid for that with his life!
Conflicts will arise in close relationships. Not being loyal (perfidy) is not a recommended action. There will be times when you agree to disagree, but that also means that you respect the other party’s decision. You do not betray that person in what they believe. To do so is an act of treachery or perfidy. It is better to end the relationship and walk away rather than betray a trust. Please, do not be guilty of perfidy!
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Fiction writers are a different breed of cat. Authors of fiction must have a vivid imagination because they can take a few facts and weave a seemingly real event from almost nothing. It is a genre of literature that stimulates one’s illusions and seemingly gives it a life of its own. Fiction is designed to entertain. It takes what is not real and makes it seem real. Reality is not fiction, but fiction writers can make fiction seem to imitate reality!
“He believes the fiction that employment rates are up.” In this example sentence, fiction is used in somewhat the same way as the word ‘lie.’ The first meaning of fiction is “written stories about people and events that are not real.” A second most used definition of fiction is “literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer,” such as an invented story. Fiction can also be used in the sense of “an assumption of a possibility as a fact irrespective of the question of its truth.” The use of such by a prosecutor in a legal case is an example of this definition. One should be careful in how fiction is used!
Fiction is something that is not true. How then do we know the signs of what is fiction and what is not? For one thing, we can use our senses to test the signs to see if it is real. Taste, touch, sight, hear and smell are ways we can test to see if it is real. The area that gives us the most trouble is when something cannot be tested by our senses. We must then fall back on logic and reason. If it does not seem to pass the test of logic and reason then it is suspect. Otherwise, you must fall back on faith and what you believe!
The purpose of most fiction is to entertain. If fiction is not to entertain as in some type of fantasy, then its purpose must be to introduce some type of deception. The result of any deception is to divert attention away from a fact or perception of reality. If the purpose is to divert attention from reality then it will produce results beneficial only to the deceiver. Be alert that your fiction does not lead you into harm!
“She believes the fiction that her relationship with Bud is real.” This girl has a fantasy relationship. She is real and Bud is real, but their relationship is not because it is a figment of her imagination. Sadly, this state does exist for some people who have trouble with separating fact from fiction. It is unfortunate, but one sided relationships like this usually end in disappointment. Do watch your ‘fiction’ relationships for it is rare that they will materialize!
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“As a comedian, Don Rickles was famous for his ‘mordant’ humor.” He imitated a comic style of humor that was biting, corrosive, or sarcastic. This type of comedy is very dependent upon a negative assortment of witty or barbed expressions that caught people off guard and made them laugh. When it was overdone, it could produce a sour response from an audience. Use great care when expressing mordant humor for it can become a cutting verbal weapon!
“His mordant remark hit my ears like a hot iron.” In this example sentence, we see mordant used in its basic meaning. It is defined as ‘biting and caustic in thought, manner or style.’ Mordant also has a meaning that applies in its use as a corrosive chemical agent. Smart aleck, sharp tongued and snarky are some additional descriptive words for how mordant could be understood. Mordant is not thought of as a kind word, so be careful when and how you use it!
Mordant is a corroding substance used in etching and as a chemical it fixes a dye in or on a substance by combining with the dye to form an insoluble compound. This is the chemical definition of mordant. The chemical definition and verbal use of mordant can both produce similar effects. As a corroding substance, it will leave permanent signs. In its verbal use, it can masquerade as humor when it really insinuates a biting, caustic or corrosive thinking process. Beware the use of mordant humor as it can mask a nasty attitude!
“A Times reporter gave a mordant review of the movie that compared it to having one’s teeth pulled for two hours.” This example sentence gives us what we can expect as results when a ‘mordant’ point of view in his style or manner of critique is very caustic or biting. This kind of review brings much of his work into question. Would he ever see anything he reviewed as something other than corrosive or sarcastic? This kind of negative reviewing is to be avoided!
To have a mordant relationship is like being a member of the Adams Family on TV. The Adams Family was a comedy TV sitcom about a dysfunctional witch’s brew of Halloween characters. The show was a characterization of occult people types who lived together and their supposedly ‘normal’ daily activities. These characters portrayed many actions that you do not do in a good, normal relationship. As a comedy, it was funny but it also gave the appearance that a mordant lifestyle was acceptable for some. Curtail sarcasm and corrosive responses in close relationships or you may find yourself being viewed as a nasty old witch or wizard!
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“Ignorance fallacies can be found everywhere in everyday conversation.” Many of these fallacy types are based upon wrong premises. One common example is used by many atheists and evolutionists: “No one can actually prove that God exists; therefore God does not exist.” Two points about this statement, (1) actually prove is a very vague premise (2) it is based upon mankind having access to all existing information. In rebuttal, a German Scientists has written a book “Without Excuse” which proves by logical statements that God does exist and is the source of all information. Be careful of what fallacy you believe!
“All people in civil service are honest and trustworthy.” Seldom do you find any statement beginning with ‘all’ to be true for it most often will state a false or mistaken idea. A fallacy is defined as a false or mistaken idea or wrong belief. Therefore, statements that begin with ‘all’ or a similar term should be viewed as suspect. Fallacy is also the quality of being false or wrong. A fallacy is like a mirage, it looks real but seldom exists in reality. If it is shiny and shimmering brightly, beware for it may be a fallacy!
“A fallacy is incorrect argument in logic and rhetoric resulting in a lack of validity, or more generally, a lack of soundness.” (Wikipedia) False reasoning causes us all kinds of trouble, especially if we have used it as truth in what we believe. A fallacy can be the reason why we have many problems in how we do things. If the foundation principle of how we think and act is based upon a fallacy or false reasoning, most of what will follow will be tainted by that principle. If your life is one big headache after another, reexamine your foundation principles. Are they based on truth and sound logic? If not, expect chaos!
A fallacy will produce results. Because a fallacy is based upon an incorrect argument in logic or rhetoric, it will lack soundness. To use a fallacy as a foundation principle is like building a home on quicksand. Its lack of soundness will be quickly revealed and its use will suck you into a deep dark hole. What you believe should be based upon sound truth and proven fact for these are the elements of a sound foundation. Be smart, avoid fallacies and their unmistakable sucking sound!
It is unfortunate that some women are vulnerable to despicable men who use flattery and compliments to insert themselves in their lives. It is a fallacy to believe that a man who flatters a woman has her best interest at heart. It is a common misdirection technique to gain someone’s confidence. It is wise to use caution if you feel that such attention is not genuine. It is better to be skeptical in such cases rather than to be the victim of a flimflam man!
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